Robin's Blog

Forgive And Be Free

Forgive

Many years ago my writer friend, Melody Carlson and I were with another writer friend who challenged me by saying that he could tell I was harboring unforgiveness in my heart.

I thought he was crazy.

He didn’t know me well. Why would he say such a thing?

When Melody tenderly but firmly agreed with him i was stunned. But she knew me well enough to know that something was off in my spirit.

I wrote a chapter in Victim of Grace about what happened that day when these two friends called me into account for what was going on deep inside my spirit. It’s one of the most vulnerable chapters in the book. It’s also one of the chapters that the most people have written to me about when they tell me how God used this book in their lives.

If forgiveness is a struggle for you right now – openly or secretly – I encourage you to read Victim of Grace.

Here’s a portion of chapter six of Victim of GraceThe title of the chapter is “A Banner Word”.

I began by asking God to forgive me for holding on to the bitterness and unforgiveness toward this particular person. He was one of God’s children. Using the words “from my heart I choose to forgive,” I stated his first name and the sin. As soon as the words tumbled off my lips, I felt a lightness return to my spirit — ​a sense of serenity I hadn’t realized had been absent.

Looking up, I said, “There’s someone else I need to forgive.” The tears kept coming in a silent stream. I named the person’s first name, identified the exact hurt, and realized that in human eyes I had a right to continue to hold the infraction against this person.

Years earlier I had parceled out a pardon but that limited clemency had largely come from my human reservoir of mercy, not from God’s unending ocean of grace. I had managed to embrace the infraction all these years with enough measured control so that if I ever wanted to slip into the role of victim, I could do so. I had kept the memory of the hurt alive and ready to call into play if I ever needed sympathy.

As I stood in the middle of my two trusted writer-friends and prayed, from my heart, to completely forgive this person, chains were being broken in the spiritual realm. I was releasing that person, and in that same instant, I was being released.

In that moment I transferred the responsibility for forgiving that person to God. I was letting go, turning to my faithful heavenly Father, and placing the burden and responsibility on him. “Father, you forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”

The heavy lifting of forgiving wasn’t up to me. I had tried in my own logic and strength to let go, forgive, move on but forgiveness is accomplished in the spiritual realm and not as a result of human will power and kindness. 

I entrusted it all to my heavenly Father. He rolled away the stone in my heart. He brought back to life that which was dead inside of me.

I was the one who was set free.

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  • Oma

    Hi Robin Gunn, my mom had written something like this to my siblings and I and one night she read it for us and I was amazed. Like you said, forgiveness brings so much freedom and healing. I experienced the same thing except I was harboring unforgiveness against myself. When I came to the realization that like you said unless you forgive you end up taking chains in the spiritual realm that entangle you and weigh you down. It can almost take part of our joy in God if we let it. There is so much freedom I forgiveness. I am glad to be reminded of that in your post. After I truly let it go and stopped trying to rationalize, I felt so much better and relieved. The spirit of forgiveness is beautiful and when we allow the Holy spirit to let the spirit of forgiveness inhabit us we fell greater strength and joy.

    • I agree about the greater strength and joy that comes from the Holy Spirit when we forgive!

  • Debbie

    I am going to goo pull the book out and look at that chapter again. I read it when it was just released. How perfect that you shared this today.

  • Kierra Campbell

    It’s hard to forgive. I wish I could, and I understand that eveyones human, and they make mistakes. Everyone has dark parts in their lives that their afraid to share, for fear of judgment and condemnation, so they keep it in shame even from their own families. I realize this, and I tell my family the darkest parts, and I cry, and I let it out when I feel spiritually attacked and condemned. I talk to God, I pray, but something’s are terribly horrific, and others are just wounds made from someone who was suppose to be there for you, but turned out to abadon you. I wish I could easily forgive my father from not being there for me, and choosing other families over his own, for sending child support instead of his love, but it’s hard. I wouldn’t know how to if I tried, but I’ll try nonetheless.